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Child with lighter starts fire

Water sprays out one of the windows of the home where a fire claimed one bedroom. (Submitted photo)

A house fire Sunday afternoon caused substantial damage to a single-story Hastings home at 808 W. 15th St. The fire department received the call at about 5 p.m.

The fire was started by a child, said Assistant Fire and EMS Director John Townsend. The 8-year-old was playing with a lighter in his bedroom and ignited some material from his bed. The fire grew from there.

The boy alerted his family, and they exited the home. It didn't take long for the fire to spread.

"It moved pretty quickly," Townsend said.

When firefighters arrived at the house, smoke and flames were already showing out of the windows. Firefighters were able to attack the fire from inside the and contained it to the bedroom. There is, however, smoke damage throughout the home, and some minor water damage.

Firefighters were on the scene for about two hours.

The incident stands as a reminder to the public how important it is that smoking materials and lighters be kept out of the reach of children, Townsend said, and that families stay educated about fire.

"It's a good reminder to talk to your kids about fire safety and exiting the home," he said.

Katrina Styx

Katrina Styx started working at the Hastings Star Gazette 2010 as a reporter. She became the editor in 2016. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. Prior to coming to Hastings, Katrina reported for weekly newspapers in Jordan, Minn., and River Falls, Wis.

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